Key Events in the Mexican-American War

Event Date Location Significance
Mexico snubs Slidell November 1845 Mexico City Pres. Polk instructs John Slidell to offer up to $25 million for New Mexico and California. Insulted Mexicans refuse to see Slidell.
Polk orders troops to southern Texas January 1846 Rio Grande River Zachary Taylor and 4000 men are sent to disputed territory, expecting attack. Conflict with Mexican troops results in 16 American casualties.
Congress declares war on Mexico May 1846 Washington, D.C. Polk asks for war with Mexico. Northern Whigs fear victory would add more slave states to U.S. Declaration passes 40-2 in Senate, 174-14 in House.
Bear Flag Republic established June 1846 Northern California John C. Fremont and volunteers capture town of Sonoma and hoist Bear Flag.
Americans capture Monterey July 1846 Monterey, California 250 sailors capture Mexico's California capital without a shot.
Kearny takes Santa Fe August 1846 New Mexico Marching from Kansas to California, Stephen Kearny's 1700 men take key Mexican trading post.
Battle of San Pascual December 1846 San Diego, California In fierce fighting, Kearny's forces barely survive attack of Mexican lancers.
Battle of San Gabriel January 1847 San Gabriel, California Californio forces retreat as American forces cross San Gabriel River and take Los Angeles
Battle of Buena Vista February 1847 Central Mexico With a much larger army (20,000 to Taylor's 5,000), Santa Anna is unable to defeat Taylor's American forces.
Veracruz March 1847 East coast of Mexico Winfield Scott and 14,000 men capture port and begin following Cortez's route to Mexico City
Cong. Lincoln issues "spot resolution"
December 1847
Washington, D.C.
First-term Congressman Abraham Lincoln of Illinois, who opposed Polk's conduct of the war, questions its validity by asking about the spot of American soil on which American blood was spilt. For a time, he received the derisive nickname "Spotty Lincoln" for his resolution, which was never passed by the House.
Mexico City September 1847 Central Mexico U.S. captures city. Santa Anna loses 4,000 of his 25,000-man army, while Scott loses 900 of his 10,000.
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo February 2, 1848 Central Mexico Mexico gives up all claim to Texas. U.S. pays Mexico $15 million and agrees to assume American citizens' claims ($3,250,000) against Mexico. Expansionists call for "All Mexico." Senate passes treaty 38-14.

Results of Mexican-American War:

Please cite this source when appropriate:

Feldmeth, Greg D. "U.S. History Resources" (31 March 1998).

Back to Outlines & Charts Index

Back to U.S. History Resources main page.